Are You Making Your Life Difficult? 18 Ideas To Simplify Your Life in 2023

Learning ways to simplify your life in 2023 can completely change your life and future for the better. Trying to manage your life, especially your financial life, can be difficult in today’s age. Between planning for retirement, paying bills, raising a family, etc. life can be exhausting. And, we all have a lot of clutter in…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: January 1, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Learning ways to simplify your life in 2023 can completely change your life and future for the better.

Trying to manage your life, especially your financial life, can be difficult in today’s age. Between planning for retirement, paying bills, raising a family, etc. life can be exhausting. And, we all have a lot of clutter in our life – not just physical, mental as well!

Due to that, wouldn’t it be nice if you learned ways to simplify your life in 2023?

Related: Setting Goals- Let’s make this year the best!

There is no better time than right now to start thinking about how to simplify your life for the future. The New Year is always a good time to make goals, and 2023 is the perfect year to focus on simplifying your life. You’ll be able to apply that knowledge and experience for years and years to come.

By simplifying your life, you can learn how to be happier, be in more control of your life, waste less of your valuable time, and more. All of this will allow you to enjoy life even more!

Simple living is different for each person, but in general, a simplified life means that you are getting rid of any extra mental and physical clutter, so that you can have more time for the things that actually matter to you.

I’m not saying that you need to do everything on the list below. Instead, I want you to think about what YOU actually enjoy in life, and work towards getting rid of the things you dislike and those that are not important to you.

Related reads that will help you find ways to simplify your life:

How to simplify your life in 2023.

 

1. Watch less TV for simple living.

I talk about this a lot on Making Sense of Cents, but because TV is such a time waster, I feel like I need to keep bringing it up!

I love a good TV show, but I can honestly say that I watch too much TV. Sure, it can be really nice to veg out in front of the TV after a long day, but the average person watches TV for over 35 hours per week!

If you were to add up all the time you spent watching TV, it would probably be pretty shocking. Can you imagine what you could do by just taking half of those hours back each week?

Reclaiming some of that time could allow you to spend more time with your friends and family, work on side hustles, get outside and enjoy the world around you, and more.

Spending a few hours less each week in front of the TV is one of the easier ways to simplify your life.

Related: 

Money saving tip: Cut your TV bill. Cut your cable, satellite, etc. Even go as far to go without Netflix or Hulu as well. Buy a digital antenna (this is the one we have) and enjoy free TV for life.

 

2. Find free forms of entertainment.

Someone once told me how expensive it was to enjoy life. They were telling me about all of their debt and everything that goes along with it, and they also told me that their monthly “fun” budget was around $500.

Uhhh, what?! $500? A month?!

If you are trying to get rid of high-interest rate debt, I can’t think of any reason why you should be paying $500 a month to have fun.

All of that money can add up to a lot of stress! Cutting down your entertainment budget doesn’t just save you money, it is just one of the ways to simplify your life in the new year.

There are many ways to have fun for cheap. Check out How To Have Frugal Fun for some of my ideas.

Side note: How To Start A Blog FREE Course: With this free email course, I show you exactly how to create a blog, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting followers. Each day, for seven days, you will receive an email in your inbox that will help you create a successful and profitable blog, all from the very beginning. You can sign up here.

 

3. Pay off your debt to simplify your life.

I know you’ve heard this before on Making Sense of Cents, but this is a personal finance blog, so it’s very important to me if you want to learn ways to better yourself. Whether you have student loan debt, credit card debt, car debt, or whatever else, paying it off will make managing your finances easier as you will have less debt to stress about.

When thinking about all the mental clutter we have, debt can be a huge contributor to that clutter. Debt can cause a crazy amount of stress, and eliminating your debt is one of the most important ways to simplify your life.

Paying off your debt can help simplify your budget, allow you think more clearly about your long term financial goals, and more.

Side note: I highly recommend that you check out Personal Capital if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation. You can connect accounts, such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more. Plus, it is FREE.

Related posts:

 

 

4. Don’t waste time on being negative.

We all have things that happen to us that turn the day from good to bad. Maybe your car wouldn’t start in the morning, a friend cancelled on you at the last minute, or you got a negative review at work.

Having a negative reaction to these types things is only natural, but it’s what you do in these situations that can really impact your life.

If you find that you are spending the rest of your day thinking about how bad these things are, you are wasting your time. Yes, it is really that simple.

Like I said, that immediate reaction is natural part of coping. However, instead of dwelling on the negatives that may be occurring in your life, such as feeling regret and/or gossiping, you can be more productive by using this time for things that actually matter. Moving past difficult things is, just that, difficult, but finding ways to refocus your energy will help you get through your day and life in general.

Just think about how much time you may have wasted recently by dwelling on the negative and thinking about the “what-ifs” in a situation?

Being more positive and finding ways to move past bad situations is a hard but important way to simplify your life.

 

5. Organize your life.

Being unorganized can cause you to waste a significant amount of time and can lead to late fees, stress, lost items, and more.

Here are some surprising statistics I found from Simply Orderly about being unorganized:

  • The average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find.
  • Every day, the average office worker spends 1.5 hours looking for things.
  • In a recent survey, 55% of consumers stated they would save anywhere from 16 to 60 minutes a day if they were organized.
  • 23% of people pay bills late and have to pay late fees because they are unable to find their bills.

These statistics are all nuts! So much time is being wasted every single day by the average person.

If you find that being unorganized is causing you to waste time and is beginning to negatively impact your life, this can be one of the more important ways to simplify your life.

To become more organized, you may want to find a day or life planner that works for you, set reminders on your phone, use post-its to remind yourself of upcoming tasks, and so on.

I highly recommend looking into different types of organizers as well. These can save space and save time!

Also, remember that minimalism (whatever a minimalist lifestyle may mean to you!) can help you to live a more simpler life.

 

6. Start saying no more often to learn how to live simply.

One of the ways we add clutter to our life is by agreeing to more than we can actually handle. And, I am a big fan of stepping outside of your box and saying yes to everything, but there are situations in which you may need to actually say “no” instead. If you say yes to everything, but you are ready to pull your hair out, then you may want to start saying no.

Think about everything you have said yes to in the past, and ask yourself these questions: Did that bring me joy? Did the benefit of the task outweigh the stress is caused? Was I able to make a meaningful difference for myself or someone else?

If you find that the answer to these questions is mostly no, then perhaps that’s the answer you should be giving in the future.

Saying no may allow you to have more time to focus on what you truly want, and it may be one of the ways to simplify your life.

 

7. Spend less time on social media.

The average person spends many, many hours on social media each week. Between Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others it can be quite easy to waste your entire day.

I’ve read many statistics that say that the average person spends over five hours a day on social media!

FIVE HOURS A DAY!

LIke many of you, I am just as guilty of this. Social media can be a great way to stay in touch with people, but like I said, it can be wasting valuable time each day.

Spending too much time on social media can even lead to negative thoughts, like comparing yourself to others, trying to keep up with the Joneses, and more.

If you find that you are spending too much time on social media and that it is negatively impacting you, you may want to shut down the social media accounts that you are spending too much time on. One of the ways to simplify your life could be creating a time block so you cannot access your accounts during certain periods of the day, and so on.

Related content: 100+ Things To Do Instead Of Social Media

 

8. Pay expenses annually or semiannually.

There are some bills that you have to pay each and every month, but if you were to find ways to eliminate some of these bills by paying for them annually or semiannually it can be one of many ways to simplify your life.

Instead of paying for bills like home insurance and car insurance monthly, you might want to look into paying them every six months or once a year. You will probably qualify for a discount if you do this as well.

If you switch from monthly payments, that’s two less bills to worry about each month!

You will probably have to adjust your monthly and yearly budget to do so, but looking at and adjusting your budget is always a good thing to do anyway.

Money saving tip: Do you know your credit score? Check your credit score with Credit Sesame for free!

 

9. Declutter (and maybe even downsize) your life.

Decluttering your life to simplify it can lead to many benefits, such as the ability:

  • To save money. In some cases, a bigger home can cost more due to higher utility bills, more clutter being bought, higher insurance, more maintenance and repairs needed, higher purchasing price, etc.
  • To have less clutter. The bigger your home, the more likely you’ll have empty rooms that you feel the need to put stuff in. Now that we live in an RV, we are much more mindful of what we buy. We think about every purchase in terms of weight, size, where we can store it, and more.
  • To spend less time on maintenance and repairs. If all the other factors between two homes are the same (age, location, etc.), a bigger home is more likely to take up more of your time and money due to more things breaking.
  • To spend less time cleaning. A larger home is going to take a lot more time to clean than a smaller one.

Related content: Downsizing Your Home? Here’s How I Went From A 2,000 Square Foot House To An RV

 

10. Think about what is truly important in your life.

Just as finding ways to simplify your life is an important thing to think about in the new year, so is thinking about the things that are truly important to you. The new year is always a good time to reflect on what you want out of life, and it can help you find ways to focus how you can achieve your goals.

By making a list of your priorities and the things in life that are important to you, you’ll be able to simplify your life by eliminating any extra clutter that may be holding you back.

This is because you’ll know and see exactly what is important to you, and you’ll be able to differentiate between things that are important and those that are not.

This is a great way to learn how to simplify your life and can help you to clear your mind as well as create better routines, and manage your resources and possessions better.

 

11. Finally stop paying for cable for simplicity living.

The average monthly cable bill is over $100. Soon, the average cable bill is expected to be around $200 a month.

If you are trying to watch less TV as one of the ways to simplify your life, cutting the cable is a good step in the right direction.

You can read more about cutting cable here and how to save money by doing this. I recommend getting a digital antenna so that you can receive local channels for free!

We don’t pay for any form of TV (not even Netflix!), and it definitely helps us to live simply.

However, if you aren’t ready to quit paying for TV all together, there are lots of options that allow you to only pay, usually much less than cable, for the shows you want.

 

12. Have less clothing options to learn how to live more simply.

The average successful and wealthy person has a very limited set of clothing options, as this way they have more time to focus on things that truly matter.

By finding items that already match one another and by having a smaller wardrobe, you’ll have more time to focus on other things in life and this can help you to drastically simplify your life.

If you want to focus on this as one of the ways to simplify your life in the new year, start by looking at the items you wear the most and get rid of the one you haven’t worn in months. It can feel really good to clean out your closet! You can then start to build your wardrobe around the items you know you love and will wear more often.

Related content: Why You Should Spend Like A Millionaire- The Frugal and Smart Money Habits of Millionaires

 

13. Automate your payments for simplistic living.

You can automate a lot in your life, and fortunately, automating your bills and income payments has only gotten easier and easier. You can have your paychecks direct deposited (many people still deposit their checks manually), you can select to auto pay your bills, you can even auto pay your monthly credit card payments. Sometimes, going paperless can give you discounts on some of the payment you make on a regular monthly basis.

Automating your payments can even make managing your budget easier!

Even though I check through all transactions and expenses, I still automate many of my actual payments so that I never have to worry that something was forgotten about. Most of my expenses are similar from month to month, so I can usually just check the payment to see if everything is correct.

 

14. Gain confidence.

This can be one of the most difficult areas to work on, but I really do believe that gaining confidence can help you to live simply and enjoy life more.

Gaining confidence isn’t an overnight thing, rather it starts by finding small ways to believe in yourself.

And, once the ball gets rolling, your confidence will allow you to improve your life rather than dwelling on things that scare you.

Confidence can lead to you:

  • Attaining the things you deserve in life.
  • Getting the job you want.
  • Making more money.
  • Reaching your dreams.
  • Public speaking.
  • Meeting new people.
  • Networking like a boss.
  • Managing a business or employees.
  • Traveling the world, and more.

As you can see, gaining confidence can help you in many, many different ways and can help you to enjoy your life more.

Learn more at Be More Confident And Get What You Want In Life.

 

15. Add reminders to your phone’s calendar (or any calendar) so you don’t forget.

Like I mentioned in the previous point, creating a reminder can be a huge help. I know this firsthand because if there is something coming up that I know I will not remember, I will create a reminder. This makes managing my life easier because I don’t have to worry about forgetting things, missing payments, etc.

I create reminders for things such as:

  • Business tasks and to-do lists.
  • When it’s time to pay estimated quarterly tax payments.
  • Renewing license plate tags for our cars.
  • Paying semiannual bills, such as car insurance.

Crazy enough, many people do not actually do this.

You can use your phone to remind you about all sorts of things, like when it’s time to pay bills, take medications, bring back library books, call a friend, etc.

 

 

16. Slow down as one of the ways to simplify your life.

There are some days when it feels like all you are doing is rushing from one thing to the next. The next thing you know, you’re climbing into bed wondering how the day went.

Maybe you’re rushing through life on an even larger scale- spending college only thinking about graduation, after graduation only thinking about a job, working and only thinking about starting a family, until everything has passed by and you are wondering what you did with your life.

It is exciting to think about the future, but if you stop to look around at where you are right now, you might be surprised by how good it is.

Like many people I know, I’m guilty of running through life too quickly and not stopping to really enjoy it.

However, by slowing down, we can learn to do things correctly, enjoy things more, and have the ability to start living simply.

 

17. Think before you multitask.

This goes along with the previous point, as we rush through life, we have the tendency to multitask in order to speed through tasks and challenges.

Some people can multitask successfully and manage a good schedule, but because it takes so much time to refocus on a new task, many people cannot. This means that every time you switch between tasks, you may actually be spending more time than if you approached each task separately.

Think about your strengths and weaknesses to understand whether or not multitasking actually helps you save time. It’s possible that you can multitask some things, but others need your full one-on-one attention.

And, for the most part, by single-tasking, your ability to focus on one thing at a time and fully complete each task in front of you will help you better focus on the ways to simplify your life.

 

18. Sit in peace to simplify your day.

We all live in a world that is constantly moving and making noise.

However, when was the last time you just sat down in complete silence with no distractions? For the average person, this is probably a rare occurrence.

Sitting silently can help you reflect on your life and what’s going on in the world around you. It can also help you relax, destress, and clear your mind.

I’m not saying that you need to start a full on meditation practice, unless that’s what you want, but you can try something easy like turning off the radio while you’re in the car, wait in the grocery store checkout line without checking your phone, or going for a walk by yourself.

By clearing out the distractions, you will probably find that your mind lets you focus on what’s important.

Are you interested in learning ways to simplify your life? What else would you add to this list?

 

If you are new to my blog, I am all about finding ways to make and save more money. Here are some of my favorite sites and products that may help you out:

  • Find ways to make extra money – Here are over 75 different ways to make extra money.
  • Start a blog. Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I earn over $100,000 a month online through my blog and you can read more about this in my monthly online income reports. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $2.75 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial. Also, I have a free How To Start A Blog email course that I recommend signing up for.
  • Answer surveys. Survey companies I recommend include SwagbucksSurvey JunkieAmerican Consumer OpinionPinecone ResearchOpinion Outpost, and Prize Rebel. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
  • You can save money and get cash back at the grocery store. Read my review and learn how to here.
  • Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free $10 cash back too!
  • Save money on food. I recently joined $5 Meal Plan in order to help me eat at home more and cut my food spending. It’s only $5 a month and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore, and it will save you money as well!
  • Try InboxDollars. InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free just for signing up!
  • I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing. You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using Credible which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
  • You should know your credit score – Check your credit score with Credit Sesame for free!

I hope you enjoyed the simple living guide! Living more simply can completely change your life.


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Great post Michelle. Regarding #2, I highly recommend a book called “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”. It has great advice and strategies for ‘life-decluttering’ and focuses a lot on why it’s important for so many of us to start saying “no” more often.

    1. I’ll have to check that out, thanks!

      1. Ryan

        That is a great book! Agreed on the recommendation!

  2. These are great ways to simplify our lives!

    I think that paying off debt, being organized, not accumulating stuff we don’t need, and being honest are great ways to stay simple!

    1. Thanks! What are you doing to simplify your life right now?

  3. Saying no more often is such a great tip. We tend to want to please everybody and say yes as often as possible. The you end up using your most valuable resource, โ€œtimeโ€ in an inefficient way. I need to practice saying no both personally and for business more often.

  4. My organisation is a mess. Thank goodness hubby is good at keeping track of things. Those late fees on bills are no joke!

    1. I’m not them most organized ever. I am an “organized mess.” ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. Great list Michelle! Just shared with my girlfriend.

    We can all learn to say no more!

  6. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    Oy, I needed this today. I’ve been suffering from FOMO for so long that I say “yes” without even thinking about it. Too many yeses gets you in a big boatload of over-committing.

  7. All awesome ideas to simplify your life.

    We are definentally working on minimalizing our life more. We have learned that less > more.

  8. This is a very helpful post, Michelle. Thanks!

    Multi-tasking gets me all the time.The universe usually reminds me when I’m doing it, too, like this morning I didn’t close the top of the coffee maker properly (I was busy thinking about something and not paying attention). Five minutes later from upstairs I could hear a sputtering sound.Water and coffee grinds from the coffee maker were seeping out onto the counter.

    We’ll be downsizing in 2018 and have already begun dumping things (literally, making trips to the dump).

    1. Are you switching homes in 2018?

      1. Yes! We’re closing TODAY on some land and building a house. We’re in the Charlotte area but we’re moving to the Raleigh area to be near family.

  9. I watch wayyyyy too much T.V. and my goal for 2018 is to cut out a lot of T.V. watching so I can have time for other things.

  10. Awesome tips, Michelle.
    Thanks. I will focus on a couple of these next. Probably saying No and organizing my workspace are high-yield for me.

  11. I’ve make it a point to only have my Hulu subscription for a few months out of the year. I don’t like having it all the time because it makes me watch TV more.

    Becoming debt-free earlier this year was so helpful in relieving stress I had! Now, I’m focused on building out my skillset and having a larger emergency fund.

  12. Great list of suggestions.

    Slowing things down is key. It enables us to think, reflect, plan, and then execute more effectively.

    Taking time to plan time to have time to save time is key.

  13. Iyabo Hood

    Great post!! Very inspired by reading your course. I will be incorporating these tips for sure in the New Year.

  14. Secretly Saving (sorry can’t share my identity yet)

    Purging. It is all about giving things away… donating them and freeing up your mind and living space. It is seriously the best ever. I have a general rule. If I did not wear something in the season it belonged (summer, fall, winter) then it has to go.

  15. Thank you . it’s very helpful, i have to reread and try to practise them all.. I like #12 , it’s true that woman can have small wardrobes too!

  16. Rolan

    Great article! I’m working on #1 and #6. Paying off debt and limiting my TV time are my main goals in 2018!

  17. I’m working on organization. I finally found a system that seems to be working for monthly tasks to run my business. Now I need to make it work on a daily/weekly level. After that I want to transfer that to household tasks, personal life, etc.

    I am constantly decluttering but usually after the New Year I do a once over again!

    1. Organization is something I’m always working on ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Robert

    Great recommendations. I am already implementing many of these. Especially cutting the cord on cable and watching less TV. I scan the headlines online in about 5 minutes. The TV just repeats everything through different talking heads. Huge waste of time.

  19. Hisa

    These are such great tips, am guilty of some of these, haha.

    Now I know more ways to simply my life!

  20. This is an awesome post Michelle! I started a lot of these in 2017 and have helped me tremendously. Decluttering, organizing, and spending WAY less time on social media has been huge ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. “The average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they canโ€™t find.” Oh geez, that means I probably spend 16 days a year looking for stuff. I lose stuff all the time! I guess it’s time for me to get more organized – where do I start?! haha

  22. Yes! TV is the ultimate time suck. We challenge people to literally put a blanket over their TV for 30 days and just see what happens. The first few days suck, but eventually you discover all this incredible free time and amazing things you can do.

    If you do nothing else on this list but cut out TV, it will change your life.

    Thanks for posting this Michelle!

  23. I started to feel all smug as the list started. Then #6 (say “no” more often) showed up. I’m really working on that one.

    #8 was interesting. I thought I was the only one who paid some bills twice a year. Example: I have a client where I pay all his bills. I talked him into paying utility and other bills we were unable to automate twice a year. We send one big check to cover expected expenses and it covers a good portion of the year. At least most of my bills are automated.

    I started to feel smug again as I read down the list until #16 (slow down). My natural tendency is to always do more. I love so many activities I want to try them all. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.

    Excellent list to bookmark.

  24. Great ideas. I strongly believe that simplifying your life is the key to happiness. We can get overwhelmed so easy by the environment around us. Learning how to “shut off” is the key.
    Bookmarked this article. Thank for sharing these awesome tips.

  25. Jack Edward des

    Hey,
    Iโ€™m loving how practical your tips are! Of course I already agree with them, Iโ€™m going to start using. Cutting TV from our lives will definitely help a lot as its just wastage of time and creates negativity towards your mind.We must give ourselves a time of peace and should avoid noisy places. Thanks a lot

  26. Linda

    When I lost weight and developed healthy habits, I got rid of my fat clothes. Iโ€™m not going to be able to wear them again . . . Ever!!!
    I repeatedly injured my left ankle. I got rid of all of my extremely high heels. Iโ€™m wearing a lot of comfortable ballet flats these days. I got rid of all uncomfortable shoes, then I got rid of all colorful shoes, skirts and slacks. By having only neutral colored slacks, skirts and shoes, getting dressed is much easier.
    Your tips are great.